Level 3 Expands Network Access Across North America to Close the Digital Divide

level3 Level 3 Communications, Inc. today announced an agreement with Open Range Communications to deliver wireless broadband to rural communities. Open Range will leverage Level 3′s extended on-net services to offer high-speed Internet and voice services to millions of previously un-served or underserved communities across North America.

Extended on-net services provide access to the Level 3 network in rural locations along the 42,000 route miles that span North America. Direct access to the network outside of major metropolitan markets enables Level 3 to pick-up or deliver traffic at more locations, providing local carriers, cable operators and wireless companies with additional on-ramps to the Level 3 network.

“The Level 3 network travels through many of the rural communities that we want to connect to the world with wireless broadband,” said Bill Beans, Jr., chief executive officer and founder of Open Range. “Level 3′s expansive network footprint and direct network access provide the foundation to enable Internet communications for more and more Americans.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Level 3 will provide the network infrastructure for Open Range to offer wireless broadband through 4G WiMAX networks in more than 500 communities in 17 states. Traffic will then be routed over the Level 3 network to enable quality online communications for as many as six million Americans.

“Level 3 is pleased to partner with Open Range in this vital initiative to bring wireless broadband to rural America,” said Peter Neill, senior vice president for Level 3′s Wholesale Markets Group. “Access to broadband communications is an important economic tool at an important time in our nation’s history. Level 3 is well positioned to partner with communications companies across the country to break down barriers to broadband access and close the digital divide.”

Extended on-net services offer direct access to the Level 3 network and services across North America. Expanded access provides customers with greater routing flexibility, efficient network expansion, improved connectivity and reduced costs.